10/18/20: Proud Man in Repose #poetry

10/18/20: Proud Man in Repose #poetry

It may seem boastful

It may turn you off

You may think it is corny for me to play “My Way”

But listen to the song’s lyrics

I think they are quite good

And you may think comparisons between me and Frank Sinatra are quite ridiculous

But I don’t care what you think this morning

and I love you quite a lot

If you’ve read this far I love you

Not for the attention

but because you must have accomplished something with your humanity

To care about a poet’s words …

I had so much love as a child

None of that Protestant burden of harnessing my sinful nature

The rod was spared

The boy was spoiled

Gloriously spoiled

I deserved what I wanted

No one was better than me

I wasn’t better

Equality

and insult

Italian operatic insult

Howls against indignity

How dare you

How dare you!

Then I went to school and I was easily socialized

I didn’t think much of it

I wanted to be in school

I studied what interested me hard

and was smart enough to coast by on everything else

School was easy

Didn’t learn a goddam thing

except a few basics

After the time of scholastic protection

I taught myself everything

I became an improvisational comedian

At first I was popular

and then I started having my own ideas

I’m the greatest improviser that ever lived

Because I became so much more

I’ve lived an extraordinary life

recognized only by me

but that is the only person who matters really

I told you that this piece was going to be insufferable

But I told you earlier

years ago

That I was going to be honest

My failures

and losses

are sources of great pride

When improvisation was over

I cracked up

And I overcame that

If you haven’t had a nervous breakdown you aren’t trying

And then I decided that I had to learn how to make a living

12 years of research into how fucked up the world of American business and work is

So I became a lawyer

Taught myself how to pass the bar

Taught myself how to do trials

I was an extraordinarily talented lawyer

I applied all of my past experience to how I practice law

I am an artist

and by definition often understood

So I got criticized a lot

but I was great

I never believed in bosses

Who died and made you boss

I always did my own thing

It always worked out as long as it served my employers’

or my peer groups’

thing

But as soon as my thing changed

It was onward and upward

My only regret is that I had regrets

I suffered because I took what other people had to say to heart

and they were wrong

Wrong in that they had no business assessing my life

Wrong in that they had no right to tell me what to do

Wrong because they were always stuck in something much smaller than what I was all about

and where I keep going

I taught myself how to be a college professor

and stopped when I finally learned

that being a college professor is a bullshit profession

I started writing in an organized way when I was teaching

I was always unconsciously writing

a poet who didn’t know it

but the teaching became a drag on the writing

You have to dumb things down

You have to explain

Ugh …

It was similar to when I was a performer

all that ass shaking and kissing

Performing is a sales job

I had some sales jobs

in order to learn how disgusting and venal that they are

Creating desire in other people

when our desires belong to our souls

what a lie

I taught myself how to write

I developed my own process

and the writing is first rate

I’ve overcome illness

humiliation

financial problems

and I’ve created

and I am

PROUD

I am probably writing this morning

because my inner critic is dying

I am at a moment

a pastoral scene

a green meadow on a mountainside

pleasant temperatures

a pause

I’ve lived a fine life

and that life is the foundation of what is next

loved and spoiled boy

easy student

improviser

mental patient

worker bee

unemployed

lawyer

trial lawyer

college professor

accomplished writer

a puppet a pauper a pirate a poet a pawn and a king

When I was seventeen, very god years

my love affairs were not restricted to women

they were often passionate activities

I was called a bum when I was doing Promethean work

Called an idiot when I was the smartest person in the room

Insulted and dishonored

and I’ve been raised upon the shoulders of adoring crowds

Bathed in adulation

But the greatest recognition

and reckoning

has occurred in the silence of my easy chair

with my laptop on my lap

I am so pleased

I trust myself on the edge of the unknown

I’ve been here so many times before

My story is your story

in everything but the details

if you’ve read this far …

My inventory —

Past and prologue:

This post includes links to my professional website and academic and creative writing, covering my work product as of 9/21/20. The work continues. Follow my blog for new developments.

The Rick Blog

9/21/20: Richard Thomas Body of Work Portfolio #writing #professional #art #poetry

Here’s an inventory of my body of work. The past is my foundation. The future is something new. I am very grateful and proud, and look forward to what’s next.

My website shows my professional experience and accomplishments, and includes an extensive bio and CV: http://www.richardthomasjd.com.

My Ethical Presence Manuscript is focused on higher ed ethics instruction: https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/1-29-20-ethical-presence-manuscript-for-mgmt-441-loyola-quinlan-school-of-business/

The Rick Blog Annotated collects and annotates my creative writing since 2015: https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2020/09/19/the-rick-blog-annotated-parts-one-two-three-and-four-3-3-15-to-the-present-and-beyond-writing-therickblog-poetry-essay-poeticessay-creativeprocess/

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

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